The use of banned performance enhancing substances (PES) among athletes continues to be a major challenge in sport. This study evaluated the knowledge of football athletes, coaches and sponsors about doping in Malawi. The specific aspects of knowledge investigated included types of doping substances, sources of information on doping substances, reasons for doping, and consequences of doping on football athletes. The study sought to determine whether there was any association between selected demographic factors (age, level of education and experience) of football athletes, coaches and sponsors and their knowledge of doping in football in Malawi. Data were collected using self-reported questionnaires from football athletes (n=235), coaches (n=24) and sponsors (n=15). Data were analyzed using Chi Square and One Way Variance of Analysis. Results indicated that football athletes (77%), coaches (45.8%) and sponsors (60%) had adequate knowledge of doping. There were significant differences in knowledge of doping substances among athletes (20.76±3.35), coaches (18.54±7.56) and sponsors (21.40±6.95), p = 0.011. The differences in knowledge on doping existed between athletes and coaches (MD = 2.22; p = 0.011) and coaches and sponsors (MD = 2.86; p = .042). There was need for athletes, coaches and sponsors to be engaged in more anti-doping programmes in order for them to acquire more knowledge on doping. Malawi Anti-Doping Organization should establish a website where athletes can obtain information on doping.
Key words: Athlete, coach, doping, knowledge, performance enhancing substances.
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